Make Your Own Hacky Sack

You can rejuvenate worn-out muscles and a tired sense of humor if you get involved in hacky sack, the play-it-anywhere game. Just follow these instructions.

| January/February 1983

  • hacky sack - turn inside out
    Turn the pouch right side out.
    Ann Dixon
  • hacky sack - tools and materials
    The tools and materials you'll need along with the cut strips that make the sack. Arrange the two pieces as shown, right sides together.
    Ann Dixon
  • hacky sack - first stitches
    Begin stitching with dental floss or carpet thread.
    Ann Dixon
  • hacky sack - stitched sack with hole to fill
    Fill the sack with mung beans or popcorn.
    Ann Dixon
  • hacky sack - closing stitches
    Close up the seam.
    Ann Dixon
  • hacky sack - finished sack
    The finished hacky sack!
    Ann Dixon
  • hacky sack - playing
    A successful inside kick keeps the little sack in play.
    Ann Dixon
  • hacky sack - solo player
    The hacky sack is a versatile toy. You can play solo or in groups.
    Photo by Ann Dixon
  • hacky sack pattern diagram
    Use this pattern to create the pieces of your hacky sack.
    Ann Dixon
  • hacky sack - stitching the pieces
    Sew until you're about 1 1/2 inches from your starting point.
    Ann Dixon

  • hacky sack - turn inside out
  • hacky sack - tools and materials
  • hacky sack - first stitches
  • hacky sack - stitched sack with hole to fill
  • hacky sack - closing stitches
  • hacky sack - finished sack
  • hacky sack - playing
  • hacky sack - solo player
  • hacky sack pattern diagram
  • hacky sack - stitching the pieces

The hacky sack, a little leather pouch filled with seeds, can be seen zipping through the air (from foot to foot) almost anywhere today: in living rooms, town squares, or checkout lines at the supermarket!

These go-anyplace squashable objets de sport are about the size of racquetballs and are controlled with the foot, as is a soccer ball. The toy was developed in Portland, Oregon, where — in 1972 — an athlete named John Stalberger created a kickable plaything to use while rehabilitating an injured knee. The sturdy little toe-teaser has since swept across the North American sports scene.

The growing popularity of the "footgame" is due, in part, to its amazing versatility. The bag is small enough to be carried in almost any pocket, and can provide entertainment for one or more persons, either in competitive play or "just for kicks" action. Of course, as with most sports, you can get as serious about this game as your skill and enthusiasm allow. There's even a national association, which boasts a membership of well over 1,000 and sponsors tournaments all across the United States. On the other hand, anyone who can participate in this pastime without breaking into an occasional spontaneous grin is likely missing the point because, above all, it's fun!

Do It Yourself

Since the sport has become popular under the name "Hacky-Sack," it's now possible to buy "official" (that is, trademarked) Hacky Sack brand footbags in many sporting goods outlets. But it's an easy enough matter — and probably more in keeping with the spirit of this sort of recreation — to make your own version, if you've got about 20 minutes to spare.



First, collect two small pieces of leather. Make sure they're soft and pliable enough to work with, but sturdy enough to hold up to the wear and tear of action. (If you have none on hand, inexpensive scraps can usually be obtained from a leather supply shop, an upholstery firm, or even a secondhand store.) You'll also need some kind of stuffing (mung beans or popcorn kernels are often used) ... a marker ... a pair of scissors ... some dental floss or heavy carpet thread ... a large, sturdy needle ... and a pattern (which resembles a peanut shell).

The Setup

Begin by reproducing the two pieces of sack-to-be, twice, on your leather strips, and then cut out the pair of identical giant peanuts. Lay the pieces down, right sides together, with the end of one peanut lying atop the center of the other. Now, thread the needle with about 18" of dental floss or thread, and you're ready to begin.






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